Q. Accreditation Defined
Accreditation as defined by the dictionary is “The granting of approval to an institution of learning by an official review board after the school has met specific requirements.”
Accreditation is a voluntary process by private, nongovernmental agencies. The term official is not applicable because there is no official central control or authority for high school accreditation. There are agencies that are better and others but no recognized ones and unrecognized ones, legitimate ones and phony ones. One accrediting organization is not legally designated as being superior over another. Consequently, the acceptance of diplomas, transcripts, and transfer credits for students who are enrolled in a particular program are according to the requirements of the receiving institution.
Accreditation and Education – What does accreditation have to do with education?
Nothing directly. Accreditation has to do with which school one attends, not with the student or what the individual student has learned. Some of the finest schools are not accredited – finding insufficient reason to seek accreditation.
The purpose of accreditation?
Parents and students sometimes use accreditation as one means of determining if they wish to attend a certain school or educational program about which they know little. Schools and colleges sometimes consider accreditation as a factor in accepting transfer of credits earned at other colleges and universities. The US Department of Education considers accreditation as one factor in allowing Pell Grants and other forms of student loans to be used at colleges or universities.
Q. What usefulness does accreditation have for an elementary or high school level homeschool program?
The answer to this question, in our opinion, ranges from nothing to practically nothing.
When accreditation is sought below the college level, the primary reason is, generally, simply to provide parents with some comfort level that the program is legitimate (i.e., of at least some minimal quality) – not a scam of some sort. Some parents consider accreditation important due to confusion and misinformation about accreditation at the elementary and secondary level of education.
Some schools that do seek and obtain accreditation at the elementary or secondary level tend to tout that fact for marketing purposes.
Q. What about transferring into a public or private high school
All schools reserve the right to accept credit from other schools. In addition to providing a transcript, we also provide a portfolio of work to guarantee the class is properly represented to the receiving school.